2015 recap: My favorite running trail and I have been re-acquainted. The best nail polish color I’ve found: Game of Chromes. And Mascara, because I at least look awake with it on.

2015. You devil, you.

As each new year approaches, I like to reflect on how great the past year has been. No matter how many setbacks, there is so much greatness that I can’t help but to be thrilled with the outcome and excited to embark on the new year. 2015 was tricky. Plan and simple — -tricky.

As 2014 wrapped up, and I reflected on my year, I did the yearly “goals” for 2015. I wanted tangible goals that I had a chance at succeeding with. Low and behold — come December 2015, I conquered them. Albeit, they were to paint my finger nails more, wear mascara regularly (most of the time), and spend more time outside. I did it. And feel damn good for sticking with it. I decided I didn’t want goals that were unattainable (in my tiny mind at least). Why say “lose 20 pounds” or “run 500 miles” or “eat healthy” when I had tried those before, and quit.

The ironic part of 2015 is…I ended up losing 25+pounds. And started running regularly again. And eating to live rather than living to eat (with wine of course). How did this happen? I mean, I was too scared to even make any of these goals a year ago, as I was certain I would fail.

What happened was I decided to start investing in myself and my happiness. As selfish as this may sound, I cannot make anyone happy but myself. I cannot make my husband happy. I cannot control my kids happiness. My best friend? Nope, not hers either. But mine…that’s completely up to me.

Something hit me right before I turned 34. I am (probably) just over a third of the way through my life. Why am I living like I am on the last leg? Why am I sitting inside this comfort zone that is so incredibly uncomfortable I want to scream? Was it to make others happy? Cuz I sure as hell wasn’t happy. Am I trying to fit societal standards? No idea, really. Surely I was too young for an early mid life crisis. Whatever it was, I won’t go back to living life that way. Ever.

Professionally, 2015 threw many perceived obstacles... or what I thought were going to be set backs. Turns out, they were stepping stones. I found a job I love. I no longer commute 45 minutes every morning and afternoon. I am challenged daily. I work with talented, amazing people around the world. Annnnnnd, I no longer have to use Microsoft Lync or the 15 pound Dell. ;)

Personally, I have come to the realization that my happiness is in my hands. It’s up to me to be happy. I cannot control or change anyone else — no matter how much energy I put into it. If someone wants misery, they will find it. And look for company. It’s up to me to decide where I want to spend my energy. Each day, we only have an allotted amount of energy to exert. Exert it wisely.

The amazing part about life is the little control we have over it. Happiness is one very small thing in your realm of control. Sure…things are not always good. There are times you will and should be mad/sad/angry. But in the end, a lot of the situations that trigger those emotions are outside your scope of control. You can’t control your feelings. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control a large portion of outcomes. But your happiness you can.

2016 will be great. I am back to making “hard” goals, but hoping with a new focus and truly being comfortable with myself, I will conquer them. So, just to hold myself accountable…

2016 goals:

  1. Be happy!
  2. Run 500 miles
  3. 5000 push-ups
  4. Visit 3 new places
  5. Shred all the sensitive paperwork in my house. (Truth — -a lot of it I meant to shred last year. Like 2014.)
  6. Step out of my comfort zone daily. (I’m looking at you, 401k)
  7. Try new wine. Lots of it. And document in Vivino for prosperities sake.
  8. Read. (If you don’t enjoy reading, quit watching TV. It has made reading much more enjoyable. I look forward to it now. Start with The Martian — you're welcome.)